Lady Grey's Study

A calm, cosy, place for contemplation

A calm, cosy, place for contemplation

Updated 2 July. Following guidance from the government, outdoor spaces at Hillsborough Castle are now open Thursday-Sunday. The castle will reopen 30 July. Please read our visit information.



Ticketing information

Explore Lady Grey's Study as part of a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle and Gardens.

Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)

Buy Hillsborough Castle and Gardens tickets

Lady Grey’s Study was created in 1936, two years after the disastrous fire that destroyed many parts of the original building.

The study had formerly been a servants' staircase to Lady Downshire's Bedroom, Boudoir and Dressing Room, and a Reading Room for the Library next door (now the State Drawing Room).

Secretary of State Mo Mowlam was very fond of this peaceful room. It was used as the Sinn Fein office during the peace talks that culminated in the Hillsborough Agreement of 2010.

It was also the scene of a secret meeting between British Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush before strategic talks on the progress of the newly started invasion of Iraq in 2003.

This space is named after Lady Grey of Naunton, Esmé Burcher, wife of Lord Grey of Naunton, who was the last Governor of Northern Ireland.

Highlights of Lady Grey’s Study

Evelyn Grace, Marchioness Of Downshire (1918)

Evelyn was the second wife of the 6th Marquess of Downshire. Colonel Repington, an intimate friend of Lady Downshire, commissioned this portrait in 1919.

The Colonel wrote a letter thanking the artist, Philip De Laszlo, for allowing him to attend the first sitting of the portrait, stating: "It seemed to me the work of a magician... that you could have transferred to canvas in one short half hour such an extraordinarily perfect representation of that charming woman."

A group of visitors wander around Lady Grey's Study, the last room on the tour of Hillsborough Castle. A crystal chandelier hangs above the room which features a soft teal wallpaper, hand-block printed with a flower design. A large ornate gold mirror hangs above a white marble fire place and painted portraits of the royal family and Hills family hang on the walls. The room also features comfy sofas and chairs. A round table with white orchid is visible in the foreground.
Lady Grey's Study with green hand-block-printed wallpaper and golden damask curtains. A green sofa and two striped armchairs from the Royal Collection are situated around a white marble fireplace with grey surround. A chandelier hangs above.

HM Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh (c1985-6)

Her Majesty The Queen commissioned this pair of portraits in 1985. The painter, Rodrigo Moynihan, was first commissioned to paint the Queen, when Princess Elizabeth, in 1946. Both the Queen and Prince Philip are presented in casual clothing against an abstract woodland foliage background.

Other notable sitters for Moynihan during the same period include former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the artist Francis Bacon.

A guide shows a group of visitors the Throne Room in the State Rooms at Hillsborough Castle and Gardens. Two red and gold thrones sit at one end of the room and the walls are lined with green silk damask and the walls are lined with historical artwork.
Tours and talks Things to see

Discover elegant State Rooms still used by the royal family on a guided tour of Hillsborough Castle.


Hillsborough Castle

Included in combined castle tour and gardens tickets (members go free)

The South Terrace, looking south-east across the terrace flagstones towards the small topiary trees and summer shrubs. The Greek Temple is just seen through the castle portico in the background on the left of the image.
Things to see

Discover the ornamental lawns, meandering waterways, peaceful woodlands and picturesque glens that surround Hillsborough Castle.


Hillsborough Castle

A lady and four young children walk down stone steps on the South Terrace towards the Jubilee Parterre. The South Façade of the Hillsborough Castle is visible in the background and a blue sky hangs above. The sun is shining brightly and highlights the nearby box-trimmed hedges and white flowers.
Things to see

Discover a charming formal garden and find out why the castle's 19th-century summer house is so unusual.


Hillsborough Castle

Included in all admission tickets (members go free)

Historic Royal Palaces retail product - drinking glasses, books and deer cushion

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